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Intangible behaviours in University spin out activities: a configurational approach

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Karen ElliottORCiD, Dr Robert Newbery


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Purpose – To date there is little understanding of how intangible behaviours, such as increased University capacity in spinning out and commercializing research creates impact. For example, new ventures, licensed products and generating additional research income. If Universities can enhance such behaviours to generate impact, it is necessary to explore the different configurations for the above outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on a recent evaluation data set where the reported impact of the programme demonstrated that examining intangible behaviours delivered significant additionality—for every £1 invested £3.94 was generated in social welfare benefits. The programme also increased links between academia and industry and created spin-outs with an average of 3 employees and £86,000 in annual revenues (Ipsos MORI, 2017). During the process, skill development, changes in participants’ intention to commercialize and the effect of different programme delivery elements were tracked through progressive cohorts (n=125). Here, we take the existing data and apply fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) to examine the effects of skill development, changes in participants’ intention to commercialize and programme delivery elements over cohort timelines. By comparing the findings between the existing statistical analyses, we move beyond insights of the net effects of the above factors on outcome alone in looking at necessary and sufficient configurational conditions for outcomes to occur. Originality/value – In exploring the aforementioned intangible behaviour configurations, this study provides insights of how such behaviours can be enhanced to present an opportunity for Universities to maximize impact potential. An empirical contribution is offered by the introduction of a novel method for examining spinning out and commercialization of research configurations: fsQCA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elliott K, Cambre B, Newbery R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 34th EGOS Conference

Year of Conference: 2018

Print publication date: 19/10/2018

Online publication date: 02/03/2018

Acceptance date: 02/03/2018